Saturday, December 27, 2008

No Sir, I Don’t Like It

If I'm completely and totally honest, my first reaction to Call of Duty: World at War was one of disappointment. After the success of COD: Modern Warfare, I just couldn't believe that the franchise had voluntarily gone back to a World War 2 setting.

Please don't get me wrong, it's an absolutely outstanding game if judged purely on its own merits. The single player campaign, while short, is a lot of fun and the multiplayer is great. The problem is that it doesn't matter how good a steak is if that's all you've had to eat for months on end…and that's what COD: World at War feels like.

Basically, the game itself is extremely good…it's just an extremely good game in a very tired and overdone genre. If this is your very first WW2 shooter, you'll probably think it's one of the best games you've ever played. If, however, you haven't been living under a rock for the past decade, you'll have fun, but in a 'been there, done that' kinda way.

However, there's one part of the multiplayer that
I really don't like.

Normally I'm all for anything that makes a game a deeper, more involved experience, and in many ways the RPG elements introduced to the multiplayer part of the game do just that. As you play you earn experience points just like you would in a normal RPG and those experience points unlock weapons and bonuses you can use in the game. You can earn anything from more powerful weapons to upgrades and add-ons that make you tougher, your weapons more accurate, etc, etc.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea in a multiplayer setting?

In a single player setting it would be awesome…but think of it this way. The longer you play this game, the more of an advantage you're going to have. Playing better also lets you earn these advantages more quickly. This is just flat out awesome when you're the guy who's been playing for a while, knows the maps inside out and has all the best weapons, gadgets and upgrades.

However, when you're the new player…this just plain sucks.

I played a ton of games where I'd open up on another player with a machine gun at close range, put six or seven rounds into him…only to have him shrug that off and kill me with a single shot from a rifle I won't get my hands on for at least another few day's worth of gameplay.

Long story short, when you start out on World at War multiplayer, it's little more than a grind. There is a 'newbie zone', but that becomes locked to you when you get above level 8…which is just a handful of matches. After that you get thrown to the dogs.

Basically, until you've invested some serious time into this game, you're playing against people who know the terrain better than you, have better weapons than you and can take more damage than you.

It's sad because this really is a very, very fun game and it just sucks that the games I'm playing online now feel like work so I can have some real fun later.


Evan 08 said...

Your multiplayer unlock point is actually why I don't play that online as much as Halo3. I like the fact that there's less douche-baggery (generally) in COD, but I don't like the most experienced players getting more toys.

One the good side, if you kill them, you can at least pick up that weapon until you too bite the dust.

Paulius said...

I'm actually going to revise my opinion a little...because it was awesome when I finally earned a new sight for my Thompson.

It would be nice, however, if the majority of unlockables were cosmetic rather than giving you a definite advantage.

Did you also see that you can buy the 'special edition' for $80 which comes with everything unlocked.

Pay cheating...that's a new one on me.

Anonymous said...

You completely forgot to mention Nazi Zombies mode which is by far the best and only reason to play CoDWaW. Though its only a LAN feature, it is very well known that you can play it with people online using a Lan-to-internet connection program like Hamachi or Tunngle. Also there are dozens if not hundreds of custom zombie maps made by people, the original game only had 2 (and a 3rd official map if you include the Map Pack 2 for xbox 360, which should be coming for PC soon). Some of the custom made maps out there are better than the original zombie maps.